What is cupping?

Cupping is supposed to promote healing and has been used extensively for sore muscles. But that’s only the beginning. Cupping has also been used for many conditions. From a biological perspective, it’s not clear how the application of suction and drawing blood into an area under the skin would provide all these benefits. A recent review of the treatment describes cupping as a treatment that can strengthen the body’s resistance, restore balance between positive and negative forces, remove disease-causing factors, and promote blood circulation.

Does cupping work?

A number of studies have examined this question, but unfortunately don’t seem to have convincingly answered it. In fact, some studies show that cupping might provide some relief for chronic neck or back pain, but that the quality of the evidence was too limited to draw firm conclusions.

Are there risks involved with cupping?

Most experts agree that cupping is safe. As long as those treated don’t mind the circular discolorations (which fade over a number of days or weeks), side effects tend to be limited to the pinch experienced during skin suction. It’s quite unusual that cupping causes any serious problems (though, rarely, skin infections have been reported).

History behind cupping?

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that cupping therapy remained an integral part of ancient medicine in one form or another. There are conflicting opinions regarding the pioneers of this ancient practice, some consider the Chinese to be the inventors of cupping, while the earliest pictographic records suggest that it is the ancient Egyptians who invented this technique at around 1500 B.C.


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